The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Snow.2
    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
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    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
  • Front.pull
    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.
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Fayette village council 8.6

Written by David Green.


Fayette has nearly 2.8 miles of good sidewalk in the village and an additional 10 miles of either substandard walk or no walk at all.

That’s what a recent survey of village streets determined, pointing out that more than 75 percent of the town is without usable sidewalks.

“The community has voiced a lot of concern about sidewalks,” village administrator Amy Metz said at the July 28 council meeting.

People have volunteered to provide labor to build sidewalks, she added.

In addition to some free labor, the village might also get some financial assistance through a pair of grant programs.

Audra Roesti, a cardiovascular health educator with the Fulton County Health Department, told council members about a grant program through the Healthy Ohio organization that could bring in up to $75,000, including a 10 percent match from the village. The village contribution could include labor.

The funds originate with the Ohio Department of Health and the grant request must be filed through the county health department.

Roesti suggested the village apply through a “targeted environmental change to enhance physical activity.” In this case, good sidewalks would encourage more physical activity for town residents.

Roesti presented information about the physical state of Ohio residents—35 percent overweight, 28 percent obese—and pointed out that the lack of physical activity is a contributing factor. This often leads to cardiovascular health issues.

Roesti would like to include her grant request with an application to the Safe Routes to School program that could bring in funds for sidewalk repair and installation.

Metz told councilors that a cost estimate to install and repair walks throughout the village was pegged at $588,000, based on an estimated cost of $11 a running foot for a four-foot wide walk. A contingency fee of $58,800 would cover other costs, such as removing trees and adding an aggregate base, where necessary.

The estimate also doesn’t include the removal of old walks that need replacement.

Council member Ruth Marlatt asked if the Healthy Ohio grant is renewable, since it would fund only a small portion of the work needed.

There are no guarantees, Roesti said, but her intent would be to make it renewable.

Community support for the project would increase Fayette’s chances of obtaining a grant, she said. For example, churches might pledge support to be responsible for the walks along their property, and service groups could make a financial pledge.

Council members gave Roesti permission to apply for the grant and also approved a recommendation from the Public Safety committee to create an ordinance for a sidewalk enhancement fee.

A fee of $2.50 a quarter would bring in about $5,000 a year, said committee member Jerry Gonzales, to be placed into a fund to cover the village’s 10 percent contribution to the grant program. Gonzales wants the fee contingent on receiving the grant.

The fund would allow the sidewalk project to continue year after year, said councilor Paul Shaffer.

In other sidewalk news, the village repaired walks that were damaged from waterline repair.

SEWER REPAIR—Councilors voted 4-2 to approve the repair of a sewer line on Eagle Street that washed out during a heavy rain in early July.

Council accepted a bid from Armstrong Excavating for the repair work, not to exceed $6,000, and for the purchase of aggregate materials from Custar Stone, not to exceed $6,200.

Armstrong’s bid was the lower of two received, but Craig Rower and Paul Shaffer voted against the measure.

Rower explained later that he would have preferred that three bids were taken instead of two. Shaffer said he was opposed to the motion because the work was already completed by the time council voted on the issue. He also would have preferred three bids.

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